***Next elections in El Salvador will not be until 2018!***
****Come back in a couple years and check out the updated info!****E
Be a Short Term Observer Feb. 23rd—Mar 3rd OR Long Term Volunteer Jan 4th—April 3rd 2015
Learn About El Salvador’s History, Culture, Democracy, and Current Reality
By Participating As An Election Observer With CIS
Election Observer Mission
The March 1st 2015 elections will determine representatives for the Legistative Assembly, City Coun-cil members and mayors in each of El Salvador’s 262 municipalities for the next 3 years. While El Salvador’s democratic process continues to strengthen, polarization between the two main political parties,the FMLN and ARENA, makes the process still very fragile. This year, when Norman Qui-jano, the presidential candidate for ARENA lost the presidential elections by 6,364 votes, he denied the results and threatened military intervention. The role of international observers was critical in maintaining the credibility of the democratic process that began in 1992 with the Peace Accords.
It is important to note that elections in El Salvador have become progressively more transparent, with most reforms being implemented in just the last 10 years. CIS inter-national observation expertise, our final report that compiles all the information made by observers, and recommendation make a difference, For example:
Historically, violence between political parties during campaigning has been common; voting booths were not de-signed to protect voter secrecy, poll work-ers kept ID cards with them, making it fea-sible to vote twice, and voters were forced to travel long distances to reach their re-spective polling stations which were as-signed by last name. Now, electoral re-forms have reduced violence, increased voter secrecy, reduced the possibility of double voting and placed polling station close to home where most people recog-nize other voters as their neighbors.
The Supreme Elections Tribunal and social organizations have continued to ask the CIS for international observers to guarantee transparent elections. Democracy de-pends on whether the election process is transparent---which the presence of interna-tional observers can help guarantee. The work of the CIS observer mission is a base for objective information that has been used by the Commission on Electoral Reforms of the Legislative Assembly and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to debate reforms.
Important reforms to be implemented and monitored in 2015
- The first time the country will elect pluralistic city
- A new system of electing legislative deputies by their photos and not just party flags allows voters to decide who they want to represent their political party. The complex counting system is still being perfected.
- Parts of the new Political Party Law passed in 2013 will be implemented for the first time.
The Principal Objectives of the Mission Are:
- To contribute to free and fair elections;
- Generate a safe environment to stimulate demo-cratic participation;
- Promote the implementation of election reforms;
- Deepen our understanding of social and econom-ic structures that govern the country and their impact and to promote people-to-people solidarity
How you can Participate in the Election Mission:
1. Participate as an ELECTION OBSERVER in the Mis-sion from Feb. 23 – March 3, 2015. The in-country partici-pation cost will be US $725 dollars, which will include coor-dination, translation, observer training, receptions, local transportation, food and housing (shared rooms 3 + per-sons). CIS will reserve double rooms for $800/per person and singles for $900 per person on a first pay, first serve basis while available. We will accept applications until January 24th 2015. (Please consider sending an additional check for $50 contribution to partial scholarships and long term volunteer participation).
2. Be a LONG TERM VOLUNTEER: 3 months Organize logistics and meetings in municipalities. You will receive in depth training, have the opportunity to meet high level election officials and political party candidates as well as build relationships at the municipal and departmental level. You will be given a high level of responsibility but also will enjoy an incredible opportunity and learning experience. Volunteers must be available from:
3.Participate in CIS INTENSIVE SPANISH LANGUAGE/PRE-ELECTION OBSERVATION program February 8 – 22 (arrive Feb 8) prior to the observer program. This program is for people who want to learn Salvadoran election termi-nology, study Spanish, and strengthen their role in the observer mission by receiving an intensive formation on the elec-toral process, history, political parties, etc. People who participate in this program will see the process in a more in-depth manner. This program costs $575 includes housing with a Salvadoran family, breakfast and dinner, Spanish lan-guage instruction from 8 a.m. -12 p.m., Monday – Friday, and special visits in the afternoon and on weekends. (You will pay $1,300 to cover your stay from February 8 – March 3, including Spanish and observation program.
You can also participate by sending a DONATION to the “CIS Fund for Democratic Participation”, which provides partial scholarships and support for long term volunteers. Checks can be made out to LOS OLIVOS CIS and mailed to:
LOS OLIVOS CIS / PO BOX 76 / Westmont, IL 60559.